Which WWE Superstars Will Most Likely Win the 2024 Royal Rumble Matches? | Smark Out Moment

Which WWE Superstars Will Most Likely Win the 2024 Royal Rumble Matches?

Posted by Outside Interference Tuesday, January 2, 2024

One of the most important pay-per-views of the year is coming up as WWE Royal Rumble 2024 hits Peacock on January 27th!

This premium live event is widely considered on par or even superior to SummerSlam to be the runner-up biggest show WWE puts out there, as it kicks off the Road to WrestleMania. Arguably, other than the main event of WrestleMania itself, there is no other single match more impactful per year than the Royal Rumble.

It is also quite literally the biggest match of the year, as it features 30 Superstars battling it out for a title shot at The Showcase of the Immortals, trumping any Fatal 5-Way bouts, Six-Man Tag Team matches or even the Elimination Chamber or WarGames gimmicks.

With so many men and women competing for this prize, though, it's hard to narrow down the best bets for who will stand tall and point at the WrestleMania sign, victorious. Luckily, knowing who the champions most likely will be and seeing who is being granted more momentum on screen as of late gives us a chance to focus on a few Superstars who stand out as the top picks to win this year's men's and women's matches.

Let's break down the top 3 contenders for each scenario.

Women's Bronze Pick: Bayley

Bayley is far from the odds-on favorite to win almost any match these days. If you do your betting research, you'll see she only won 7 out of 77 matches in 2023 and 9 out of 37 matches in 2022. She hasn't actually had a winning percentage endgame of the year since 2020, which even still saw her have a severe drop off going from an 80.3% win record in 2019 to just 57.7%

So why would she be so high on this list to outlast 29 other women this year? Isn't that a mistake?

It all comes down to the storyline. Right now, her stable Damage CTRL is on fire. While Dakota Kai is still on the shelf with a torn ACL injury, Asuka and Kairi Sane joined the ranks of the faction, seemingly unbeknownst to Bayley, who has been becoming more of an outsider within her own group.

As one of the first women to declare for the Royal Rumble, that likely means WWE has plans to make her a focal point. It's as good of an indication as can be, based on historical screen time for people who would go on to win. And since Iyo Sky is holding the Women's Championship, how else could Bayley be a prominent focal point other than to win the Royal Rumble and be in a position where she has to pick between the dominant, unstoppable Rhea Ripley, or her teammate who has been overshadowing her?

If Iyo retains the title heading into WrestleMania, Bayley jumps to the top of the list of possible challengers. Everyone else will have already fought Sky, and Bayley's excommunication from her stable would be the only interesting story left to tell.

What makes her hard to choose, though, and why she's ranked third, is because Sky may very well drop the title (taking Bayley's purpose out of the equation and possibly setting up a non-title match between the two to come), or the winner of the Royal Rumble could just be challenging Ripley, leaving room for someone else to fill that void while more time is spent building up the split between Bayley and Iyo separately.

Women's Silver Pick: Becky Lynch

No one is better positioned to win the Royal Rumble and challenge Ripley than Becky Lynch. She's the biggest name in the women's division and has reached the untouchable status where she doesn't need to win every single match in order to stay afloat. She can take a loss from Nia Jax or Lyra Valkyria and turn around the next week and win the title and no one would bat an eye.

Ripley's fought everyone on the Raw roster who would pose any bit of a challenge. Clearly, she's not going to be booked to defend her title at WrestleMania against Valhalla, for instance, leaving Big Time Becks to be the only heavy-hitter left.

Technically, someone could jump ship from SmackDown in order to challenge Ripley, like Bianca Belair. But with no hints toward that in a while, compared to how many times Rhea and Becky have stared each other down to tease their impending fight, it seems highly unlikely WWE has anyone else in mind to fight Mami other than The Man.

But she could also find herself winning that title opportunity through the Elimination Chamber, if that is used as a No. 1 contender's match this year. She could also win the right to challenge for the title on an episode of Monday Night Raw, or possibly a Saudi Arabia event in March, if that gets added to the live event schedule.

Women's Gold Pick: Jade Cargill

It's a risk to bet on her, but Jade Cargill is poised to make a splash in 2024. What bigger pool to jump in to than the Royal Rumble? And what better way to put a stamp on her as a big threat to the women's division than to have her win this in her debut match?

Cargill has the size and strength to believably toss everyone out of the match. She doesn't need to be in their long, either, as 59% of the time, the winner has come from the #21-30 spots (source: Royal Rumble statistics and records). Technically, the spots 27, 28 and 30 are the winningest spots with a whopping 13 out of 44 wins coming from just those three numbers. That means Cargill could enter the match late, hang in there for roughly 5 minutes, do relatively basic maneuvers, win it, and spend the next few months continuing to train at the WWE Performance Center to prepare for a true match at WrestleMania.

This all hinges on whether or not Iyo Sky drops the title, though. If she loses it to Bianca Belair any time prior to WrestleMania (likely either at Royal Rumble or Elimination Chamber), Cargill will obviously challenge The EST.

It's a risk to assume these things will happen, but it's also a risk to assume WWE would wait all this time, debut her in this match, and have her NOT win.

Men's Bronze Pick: Cody Rhodes

Cody Rhodes hasn't stopped reminding everyone that he plans to "finish the story" and win the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship from Roman Reigns, even though he's been booked to stay away from him entirely for the past year. WWE wants to keep teasing another confrontation without even giving him a chance to earn a title shot, as exhibited by The American Nightmare's exclusion from Money in the Bank and being on the opposite brand of The Tribal Chief all year.

In 2023, Rhodes had a triumphant #30 entrance, coming back from injury to set himself up for the biggest match of his career. He came up short, however, and if the chatter surrounding it is true, that is in part because WWE felt he needed to lose and "earn it" by "going through more adversity" rather than just making it an easy path to victory.

With this logic, it'd be hard to imagine the booking philosophy is as simple as hitting the rewind button, having Cody win the Royal Rumble back-to-back, setting up the rematch and just coasting for the next three months. Instead, he's likely to come very close, but fail, giving the spotlight to someone else and forcing him to find another way to the top.

However, given his popularity, the narrative surrounding his motivation for winning, and the lack of many other options to stand in his way, Rhodes still remains one of the top picks to watch out for. It could just be as simple as WWE doing the repeat, as it's happened before with Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Men's Silver Pick: The Rock

Fans have been clamoring for The Rock to face Roman Reigns for nearly a decade, and it seems it may finally happen. All the teases over the years gave viewers hope, but now that Dwayne Johnson appeared on the Day 1 episode of Monday Night Raw and specifically tossed out the idea that he would be going for The Head of the Table, one has to assume he's a front-runner to win the Royal Rumble and fight Roman at WrestleMania 40.

A dream match like that is hard to pass up. If WWE can pull it off, there's no reason not to do it. Reigns beating The Rock would cement him even more as a top Superstar of all time.

The key to this, though, is whether or not The Rock will even be competing in the Royal Rumble match. He didn't officially declare himself as an entrant. Therefore, in a few weeks, he may not even be at Tropicana Field to fight for the opportunity. Instead, he might outright challenge Reigns on an episode of SmackDown, as WWE has had no problems building the main event of WrestleMania with 2 guys just saying they're having the match. Look at Goldberg and Reigns as an example.

Then again, there's also a chance The Rock fights Roman Reigns at Elimination Chamber in Perth. WWE has put much more stock into the foreign pay-per-views in recent years, treating them as being on par or even bigger than the traditional Big 4. What would fill out Optus Stadium in Australia more than having The Rock perform there against The Tribal Chief?

Men's Gold Pick: CM Punk

Whether you're on FanDuel Sportsbook, you have a pool going with your friends, or you just want to toss out your prediction for argument's sake, the smart money is on CM Punk winning this year's Royal Rumble, easily.

He checks off every possible box you could ask for in a prediction: 1) he's a major star, 2) he's just had his surprise return to the company after a decade, 3) the last time we did see him was at Royal Rumble 2014 where he arguably was a favorite to win, 4) he's never won a Royal Rumble before, 5) he's never main-evented WrestleMania, which has been a major sticking point in his career, 6) he's forged his own narrative about this being why he came back, similar to Cody Rhodes, and 7) he has a built-in feud going with Seth Rollins, who happens to be holding the World Heavyweight Championship, which is a belt that could use the attention put onto it by having the Royal Rumble winner choose that title instead of going after Roman Reigns.

Having Punk win the Royal Rumble allows for a big pop to send fans home happy (especially if they are disappointed Rhodes or Rock didn't win), a satisfying next chapter in his career, the most interesting challenger for Rollins to go up against, and some breathing room for WWE to figure out what steps it wants to take with Roman Reigns and his title picture.

It is almost guaranteed Punk will win this match, and it will be shocking if that isn't the outcome.


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